A F*cking Problem in the Comedy World
We here at MichaelKonik.com aren’t persnickety. We’re not prudes. We don’t take offense. Very little is out of bounds in our way of thinking. Sure, venality and cruelty and mendacity tend to rankle and annoy, and, sure, we’re probably more squeamish than most when it comes to violence. But “bad words” don’t bother us like they do most folks. Nigger, kike, cunt: they’re all ugly and malevolent constructs, yet you’ll not hear us calling for their banishment from the lexicon. We’ve got a cast-iron ear and a libertarian commitment to free speech.
So, comedians of the world, particularly those who dominate the Los Angeles scene, you’ll understand that our complaint isn’t born of language discomfort. It comes from wanting comedy to be as funny as it can be.
Kumail Nanjiani, Jonah Ray, Greg Proops, Blaine Capatch, Barry Rothbart, and dozens more comics who want to be as funny as you one day, please understand: we love you. We respect you. We think you’re all great in your own way. But you’re hurting your act and making us not laugh as much as we might by making a fundamental, semi-beginner’s mistake.
You’re over-using the word fucking.
You’re killing the funny by over-using the word fucking. In your “alt” world of non-TV-clean comedy, fucking is no longer a verb (and sometimes a noun). It’s an adverb and an adjective, and sometimes even a preposition. “I was confronted by a fucking homeless guy carrying, like, a fucking Transformers lunch box filled with all his earthly fucking possessions. And I’m like, fuck. This situation is so fucked. I’ve got a fucking degree from a fucking four-year university and this street hobo, this fucking Charlie Chaplin impersonator is getting in my face about some fucking movie I never saw and making me fucking doubt my fucking cinematic education at NYU!”
We exaggerate. But not much.
Look, not everyone can be as intelligent and brilliantly talented as Maria Bamford and Pete Holmes, who might be the most consistently killing comic in Los Angeles at the moment. But everyone has her thing going on; everyone has his point of view; everyone brings a whole bunch of funny to the scene. As avid consumers of stand-up comedy, we want to enjoy what ya’ll do without constantly having to tune out all the fucking noise.
We’re not anti-fucking. No, actually we’re rather pro-fucking. Our suspicion is that when comics begin to drop the f-bomb indiscriminately, though, it’s not because they’re reveling in the freedom to say whatever they want into a microphone. It’s because they might not have all that much to say.
Also, while we’re ranting…it’s cool to come to shows with handwritten reminder notes. But please don’t read your material verbatim to us, as one well-known female comic and Monday night show producer sometimes does, and expect laughs. Save that for Twitter.
But please do bring your best, most original material to us, your fans. Be you. Share. And for fuck’s sake, enough already with the profanity.